Internet Horology Club 185
KM Deckwatches

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May 23, 2005, 10:55
Oliver Wulff
KM Deckwatches
Principally there were 7 major makers of deckwatches (chronometer). These deckwatches were divided into three different classes I, II and suprise III. I and II had chronometer grade movements where tested as to their precision and are considered nautical instruments for navigation. All class I and II watches should (were) engraved with a M, a number and the eagle/swastika (most people do not realize but this was a sort of acceptance/ownership mark of the German navy... and is nowadays a very common way to enhance the 'value of an orinary stopwatch (=submarine torpedo timer) or a deckwatch IIIrd class which generally came without this marking (not the stopwatches they frequently had a simple version of the eagle). By the way the watches with a M number were considered to be part of the inventory of a ship and not part of the bearers equipment. Also they were mostly placed in wooden boxes. The clock shown here is an early Lange and Soehne, one of two I Klasse brands in its original case with a silvered dial

May 23, 2005, 10:58
Oliver Wulff
Most of the Lange watches were delivered with an unmarked dial. If you run into a Huber assembled watch with a silvered dial you may end up with a post war production often with the eagle filled in with a solder (subsequently this is often removed to increase the value) Here is another one with a signed dial

May 23, 2005, 11:01
Oliver Wulff
Now it is time to shatter another illusion, actually two common misperceptions. Watches with a luminous dial are NOT per definition submarine comander watches. From 1943 on the navy requested all watches to be delivered with a luminous dial (Klasse I&II) and these dials are not radioactive much opposed to the radium based numbers on other wwii timepieces. Here is another photo of one such Lange& Soehne

May 23, 2005, 11:05
Oliver Wulff
Vacheron&Constantin supplied the other I Klasse watch but to my knowledge only with a silvered dial. This watch as the Lange and Soehne also has a power reserve and had to be off by no more than 1/2 second per day regulated at different temperatures and positions approved by the Seewarte* or another enabled institute.

*responsible for amongst other things ensuring of the precision of navigation equipment

May 23, 2005, 11:17
Oliver Wulff
The second class version was produced by IWC, Cortebert, Stowa, Laco, J Assmann (company went broke in the 20's but old stock of these wwi watches was reused in wwii), Ulysses Nardin (the one 'common' watch that has eluded me to date!!!)and Vacheron Constantin. The Cortebert, IWC, Laco and Stowa I have seen with luminous dial. The Vacheron, Assmann and Nardin only came in silvered dial versions (!!!as far as I know) and the IWC and Laco seem to have been made in both versions. I will post a number of these in subsequent postings Here is a flock of Corteberts

May 23, 2005, 11:27
Oliver Wulff
IWC... IWC will authenticate your watch for you and let you know who it was originally delivered to. Top service here. If you ever need to restore a military IWC please be very specific about the work you want undertaken and what you do not want restored. They will make your watch dial and all look like brand new which can lead to a loss of authenticy especially when it comes to dials... It is their best intention... that is what they do a perfect job.

May 23, 2005, 11:29
Oliver Wulff
A Vacheron II Klasse. The 'universal deck watch. A number of these were made and not delivered to the German Navy with cases premarked for engraving but not engraved

May 23, 2005, 15:12
Frank Kusumoto
Oh please show some nice movement pics! Great article there, thanks for sharing. Big Grin

Frank "407" Kusumoto
May 23, 2005, 16:51
Carlos Flores
What a collection!, beautiful pieces and great information, thanks for showing them.
May 25, 2005, 07:28
Oliver Wulff
I have to take pictures of the movement and the problem is that most of the nice ones are in a safe so please be patient. The attached watch is the Assmann I have previously mentioned. The very same watch is also pictured in Konrad Knirim's excellent book.

May 25, 2005, 15:46
Greg Crockett
Thank you Oliver. This is an enlightening presentaton - of watches which are rather hard to find in any condition, let alone such excellent shape.

The note regarding fake markings is much appriciated. This has always been a problem for collectors of WWII German militaria and watches are no exception.

The original outer box is another item which is not often found for these watches.

About the case markings. Were these ever marked as to the ship assigned to?

Best regards,

Greg Crockett
May 26, 2005, 06:43
Oliver Wulff
I wish they were. The items that were part of a ships inventory were marked with M numbers and would have probably been on the ships inventory lists. I am not so sure if these still exist... boy would I love to know where my watches were used ;o)
March 10, 2006, 10:57
Enzo Liguori
Hallo Evrbdy,

i thought to add this Hanhart KM pocket watch to post before i part from it as it is on Ebay.
Assigned on board of Kriegsmarine ships and subs but not given a Class was manufactured in relatively small quantities, probably few hundreds and with movement serial numbers which where in the range of 110XXX-114XXX.
Service M number starts from 001 and this one bears service number M 331 and dates the early 40'
Progressively was substituted in its usage by the wellknown Hanhart KM wristwatch.
The highest s/n for this type of KM pocket watches spotted is not higher than the 500 units.

March 10, 2006, 12:11
Scott A. Whittey
March 10, 2006, 12:56
Enzo Liguori

tnks, yes,it is indeed true that it is in nice condition, infact i put for sale the best one i have!!!! Big Grin Wink I really hope to find another in such conditions in future!
March 15, 2006, 07:39
Enzo Liguori
Hallo Kevin,Scott,

i posted it again on Ebay after removing few pics,
March 17, 2006, 00:47
Joe Anderson
Here is a shot of some original paperwork that came with my Glashutte sea chronometer y'all might fight interesing. Joe

March 22, 2006, 12:58
Enzo Liguori
tnks, would you post a pic of the ''real thing'' pls?
April 02, 2006, 15:43
Joe Anderson
Here you go...

December 19, 2006, 12:30
Enzo Liguori
Hello ,

a rare pic of the usage of 1.Klasse and 2.Klasse in their wooden boxes, one fitted with celluloid protection screen for navigation data recording when used at outside, over the plotting table of a Minesweeper.

January 19, 2021, 22:14
Joe Anderson
Greetings & Felicitations...
I last posted on this thread approximately 15 years ago and now I have more horological "grist for the mill." My question involves the KM markings on the back of Vacheron & Constantin class I deck watches. Please note that those examples pictured below have two different styles of markings. The demarcation line seems to be 1000. Watch bearing M 10814 was made in 1944. Does anyone know why? Are both sets of eagles and KM numbers authentic? Your thoughts, opinions, and sheer guessing are greatly


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